Veganuary Round 2

First post in 2022… better late than never! January 2021, I joined WordPress. I feel like I’m finally getting my writing style. It’s more difficult to get the photos, actually! Either we have plans and I don’t get a pic in my outfit or we have plans and I don’t get a *cute* pic in my outfit, haha! Anyway… as I was saying, first post in 2022 and it’s about food.

Last January, Max suggested trying a vegan challenge all January. I posted more about our experience here. It truly was a challenge but so fun. We decided to go that route this year. We are typically vegetarian during the week and usually are only eating meat when we order out. I feel so much better after eating healthy grains and beans. I didn’t notice a difference after cutting out dairy for the month, but I’m lucky to not suffer from any lactose issues (yet – who knows bodies change!) so without further adieu, here are our top 4 favorite recipes from the month (spoiler alert: 3/4 are soups. It’s January and snowy here.. don’t at me)

*All photos are my own

Vegan Zuppa Toscana

Recipe from: https://veggiesociety.com/vegan-zuppa-toscana-recipe/

This was the first soup we made and with the small amount of ingredients, I wasn’t sure how powerful the taste would be. We absolutely loved this soup!! It reminds me of Olive Garden. I had some leftover Yukon potatoes from another meal, so specifically was looking for a recipe that calls for potatoes. I swapped mushrooms for the Italian sausage as the recipe calls for. You get that comfort food + the cashew cream is deliciously creamy. Will make again!

Vegan Thai Coconut Curry Soup with crispy tofu

I’m actually making this one again tonight! Recipe from: https://www.marathonsandmotivation.com/vegan-thai-coconut-soup/

Tbh, the tofu didn’t have a lot of flavor. I used liquid aminos vs soy sauce as a healthier alternative. But tofu is an excellent protein and I’m preparing it the same way tonight. I could only find yellow curry paste at Trader Joe’s. My first time using rice noodles and they ended up soaking up the broth the next day. The coconut broth is so refreshing. This photographed beautifully and I had a couple friends reach out on IG for the recipe. If you make this, tag me and let me know how you prepared it!

Quick & Easy Vegan Ramen Curry

Recipe from: https://midwestfoodieblog.com/vegan-curry-ramen/

I ordered ramen packages, used the noodles and tossed the seasoning. Ran into the same issue where the noodles soak up the broth the next day. But this is so delicious!! I’d break up the noodles next time before adding to the soup just so it’s easier to eat.

Vegan white bean “chicken” parm

Recipe from: https://www.rabbitandwolves.com/vegan-white-bean-chicken-parmesan/

I’ve made this recipe for years!! A tried and true recipe. The texture, thanks to the vital wheat gluten, has a realistic chicken feel. The patty holds together well. I used a vegan sauce from Rao’s for our saturday night dinner. I normally reserve this meal for a date night in or a weekend meal when you want to feel fancy because it is on the heavier side, especially when you include sides. We’re used to one pot recipes or power bowls for dinner. There’s not a lot of prep work involved – you can have a fancy feast in less than an hour!

Happy to recipe share! Share your favorite plant based recipe below 👇🏻

VEGANUARY: favorite vegan meal roundup

As I mentioned in my last post, my husband and I challenged ourselves to eat 100% plant based for the month of January. We actually had already planned on this but it helped that my brother and sister-in-law gifted us an air fryer (because she couldn’t believe we didn’t have one, lol!) and a vegan air fryer book. It’s been so much fun to use!

Guys. This was tough!! I was suddenly reading the ingredients on everything! Not to mention, we’ve been utilizing grocery delivery (Thanks Amazon Fresh & Whole Foods) so I’ve been online shopping the nutrition label. That’s another level.

We have a couple staple meals that are affordable, easy, and delicious. I found dairy products on the ingredient list so I had to modify and find my own vegan version. It was such a good challenge, I felt more energized, especially at night after putting Olivia down. All I want to do is watch tv, but I did have more energy to pick up baby toys around the house, fold laundry, etc vs leaving it for the weekend. On the cons list, I’d say dinners required more work. I’m used to one pot, one sheet pan and I did notice I was having to prep longer and use more dishes. I can’t complain when I work from home (in the breakfast nook) so when it’s 5 o’clock on the dot, I’m signing off and grabbing Olivia as my sous chef!

I am not a food photographer so the pictures and recipes I’m going to share are from Pinterest. You can find the recipe/food blog in the photo captions. Hope you enjoy our top vegan meals!! If you have any other questions about our challenge, I’m happy to answer them! Leave a comment or shoot me an email.

Breakfast: I normally eat organic rolled oats with some nut milk and nut butter. That didn’t change during Veganuary but I also saw the breakfast tortilla wrap trend on tik tok. I was able to swap the egg and use Just egg patties instead. Tasted amazing and highly recommend! Just add your favorite breakfast toppings!

Photo from Haute Off the Rack IG
Photo from Haute off the Rack IG

Lunch: another modification of my standard Greek salad. Swap my salad dressing for hummus (or avocado) and I didn’t even miss any dressing!

https://www.beautybites.org/5-minute-mediterranean-bowl-healthy-lunch-meal-prep-recipe/

Dinner: Some of our staples just required subbing Daiya vegan cheese with our normal cheddar cheese. Stuffed sweet potatoes are on a weekly rotation in our house.

https://www.simplyquinoa.com/mexican-quinoa-stuffed-sweet-potatoes/

I mentioned another weekly staple is tikki masala and naan bread. But with our vegan challenge, we couldn’t have the store bought tikki masala and naan because of dairy products. I had to put in the effort and make homemade curry and naan bread. Very worth it though!

https://healthiersteps.com/recipe/butternut-squash-coconut-curry/
https://www.noracooks.com/vegan-naan/

We also love doing soup Sunday’s around here! Our favorite soup was a white bean chili.

https://www.contentednesscooking.com/vegetarian-white-chili/

Let me know if you try any of these and please share your favorite plant based and vegan recipes!